PreventionBy Mayo Clinic staff
Although there's no way to prevent porphyria, if you have the disease, taking the following steps may help prevent symptoms:
- Avoid medications known to trigger acute attacks. (Ask your doctor for a list of safe and unsafe drugs.)
- Don't use alcohol or illegal drugs.
- Avoid fasting and dieting that involves severe calorie restriction.
- Don't smoke.
- Minimize sun exposure.
- When you're outdoors, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen.
- Treat infections and other illnesses promptly.
- Reduce stress.
Because porphyria is an inherited disorder, your siblings and other family members may want to consider undergoing genetic testing to determine if they have the disease.
- Puy H, et al. Porphyrias. The Lancet. 2010;375:924.
- Learning about porphyria. National Human Genome Research Institute. http://www.genome.gov/pfv.cfm?pageID=19016728. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Porphyria. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghome (NDDIC). http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/porphyria/Porphyria.pdf. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Anderson KF. Porphyrias: An overview. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Porphyrias. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec12/ch155/ch155a.html. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Desnick RJ, et al. The porphyrias. In: Fauci AS, et al. Harrison's Online. 17th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=2883658. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Singal AK, et al. Porphyria cutanea tarda and hepatoerythropoietic porphyria. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed March 22, 2011.
- Wolanskyj AP (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. April 5, 2011.